Apple Asks Suppliers for Folding iPhone Samples to Test Hinge, 2022 Release Possible: Report
iPhone 12 Pro
Folding smartphones seem to be the next form factor, with many companies working on bringing a folding smartphone to the market to support their monotonous slab-like design language. A report now claims that Apple has asked its suppliers to make samples of folding smartphones, and that the devices could be launched as early as 2022. The report says that both Foxconn and Nippon Nippon have been asked to send samples so that the company can see if they stand up to more than 100,000 folds.
The report published in Chinese publication Economic Daily says that Apple is reportedly testing both the screen and hinges. The company is also said to have asked Foxconn to evaluate the bearings (the folding component) of the devices with over 100,000 opening and closing tests. The report said that the Cupertino-based giant is testing these components in order to make the first folding iPhone available as soon as possible. Further, the report said that Samsung will provide the screen and Foxconn will assemble the folding iPhone. It also says that the company plans to put either an OLED display or a microLED display on the folding iPhone. However, it has not yet decided as to which one to go for.
In the past, the number of folding tests for laptop hinges was about 20,000 to 30,000, and 50,000 for laptops with higher specifications, the report said. However, the test for mobile phones requires more than 100,000 folding operations. The Economic Daily report also said that Nippon Nippon is expected to make the hinge for a foldable iPhone.
This is not the first time a report about a folding iPhone has surfaced. Few Apple patents have surfaced in the past that suggest at a foldable form factor. Two concept images from EverythingApplePro show that a folding iPhone could either fold horizontally or vertically. It could either be a standard conventional iPhone, which could be folded out into a more tablet-like size, or it could be a standard iPhone that folds into a super-compact form factor (like the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip).